A Nacogdoches man is recovering after donating bone marrow on Wednesday at Methodist hospital in Houston. Andy Wilson, 24, said he can't walk, or even sit down without help because of the painful procedure. However, he said it was worth it.
A member of the Be the Match organization, Wilson donated his marrow to a 3-year-old girl he has never met. He says the only thing he knows about her is that she has leukemia.
"It hurts. I'm very uncomfortable. But I would do it again. It's not bad enough for me to say no to somebody's life," Wilson said. "It's a 3-year-old little girl, and I got to be a real life Superman. It's really cool. Super heroes don't have to wear capes. They can save somebody's life by simply donating bone marrow."
Five years ago, Andy was a freshman at Stephen F. Austin University when he stumbled upon a Be the Match booth on campus.
"At the time, I was thinking ‘Sure. Yeah, I'll do it' because you get a free T-shirt, and it doesn't take a lot of time," Wilson said.
But little did he know, his match would finally find him.
"I'm a blood donor, as well, regularly, but years went by and I didn't get a call or anything like that. I kind of forgot about it until I got a call five years later," Wilson said.
He immediately signed up but hit some road blocks when the girl's parents declined his offer. But four days later, he got a call that they had changed their minds.
"I just remember thinking about this little girl. She's three years old. She doesn't understand the whole situation of what she's going through. I can't imagine how her parents are feeling. So, I don't know. I just felt like it was the right thing to do," Wilson said.
The recovery time for a bone marrow patient is about a week, Wilson said, but he is just happy he could help. Wilson said he has to wait an entire year before he can request more information on the girl. But he wants to be able to meet her in person.
"That's kind of what I hope for, actually. I want to be able to see who it is, you know, that I did all of this for," Wilson said.
Wilson can write letters and send gifts in the meantime but cannot tell her his name or where he lives. However, he said if he had the chance to talk to her, he would have a couple of words for her.
"I hope it worked. I hope I get to see you one day. I hope you heal up well, and I hope your family takes care of you, so we don't have to go through this again," Wilson said. "It hurt. It was worth it. And I hope that you have a really good life and get to enjoy it. And maybe you'll be able to do it for somebody someday."
For more information on the Be the Match program, visit www.bethematch.org.
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